- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A county commissioner convicted in an ATV protest ride is accusing the federal judge who oversaw his trial of being biased due to a longtime friendship with an environmentalist.

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman’s attorneys filed a motion Monday asking that U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby be disqualified from the case due to his longtime friendship with Steve Bloch of the Southern Utah Wilderness Association.

Shelby’s case administrator Mary Jane McNamee said the judge has no comment. The judge filed a motion Tuesday requesting that another judge rule on Lyman’s request.

Bloch was not immediately available for comment.

Bloch’s organization was not a party in the lawsuit, but Lyman says it has advocated for a stiff sentence for Lyman.

Lyman is awaiting sentencing after a jury found him guilty of misdemeanors.

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